“It’s often easier to make something 10X better than to make it 10% better.” ~ Astro Teller
It looks like Google takes a Moonshot with ‘Project Loon’ and Facebook. ‘Project Loon’ is what Facebook and Google are working on to connect people in all rural areas of the World to the internet. They will launch helium balloons that will be able to beam WiFi signals back down to Earth from high above the atmosphere. This was was all announced last year as one of Googles “Moonshot” thinking projects. There are small controlled tests happening already in New Zealand, but still nothing is official.
TechCrunch reported that Facebook was talking with Titan Aerospace which is a drone company.
Google takes a Moonshot with ‘Project Loon’ and Facebook what do you think?
Project Loon: The Technology
(Video via YouTube / user: Project Loon – Published on Jun 14, 2013 –We believe it’s possible to create a ring of balloons that fly around the globe on the stratospheric winds and provide Internet access to the earth below. Balloons present some really hard science problems, but we’re excited about the progress so far.)
Cannes Digest: Project Loon – Google’s Plans to Use Balloons To Provide Internet to the Whole World
(Video via: YouTube / username: Google Enterprise – Published on Oct 2, 2013 – Astro Teller, Captain of Moonshots at Google [x], outlines Project Loon, a scheme to use a network of balloons traveling on the edge of space to deliver the Internet to the two-thirds of the world’s population that does not yet have access. He goes on to explains how the idea of Moonshots like this can inspire creativity in everyone.)
Titan Aerospace unveils the world’s first solar-powered UAVs -Titan Aerospace Solara 50
Video via YouTube / user: NMANewsDirect – Published on Sep 25, 2013 –Aircraft designer Titan Aerospace unveiled last week its Solara 50 and 60 unmanned aircrafts, the world’s first atmospheric satellites powered by the sun with a mission range of over 4 million kilometres.
An atmospheric satellite is a drone that can conduct most of the operations of an orbital satellite, but is much cheaper and more versatile. Among the applications of a Solara aircraft there are disaster recovery, weather monitoring, communications relay, oceanographic research and earth imaging.
According to reports, Solara 50 and 60 can be launched at night using power from internal battery banks. When the sun rises, the solar panels covering the crafts’ wings and tails, store enough energy to allow them ascend to a position of 20 km above the sea level and to stay aloft continuously for five years, without ever having to land and refuel. The aircrafts will operate in an atmospheric sweet spot known as the tropopause where winds are generally less than 5 knots.
Despite its massive dimensions, Solara 50 only weighs about 160 kg, and can carry a payload of 32 kg. According to reports, differently from satellites, it is possible to get the payload back at the end of its five years endurance.
As for the speed, Solara 50 can travel at 104 kilometres an hour (about 64 MPH).
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Google takes a Moonshot with ‘Project Loon’ and Facebook